CyanoCapture is an award-winning startup, harnessing GM cyanobacteria to provide affordable industrial-scale carbon capture. It was founded in January 2021 by David Kim, a postgraduate in Medicine at Christ Church College, University of Oxford and Samir Chitnavis, who is studying for his Master's in Biology at Jesus College, University of Oxford.
Having won the Arctoris Prize at the Oxford Catalyse Biohackathon in April 2021, CyanoCapture incorporated as a company and went on to secure angel investment to fund its next R&D stage. The two young entrepreneurs fought off tough competition from over 100 teams at 33 Oxford colleges to win ‘Best Idea’ and £10,000 in grant funding plus follow-on support in the All-Innovate competition run by the Oxford Foundry in partnership with Oxford colleges. In October 2021 they won Elon Musk’s Carbon Removal XPRIZE.
Climate Change is a Global Priority. Power, cement and steel industries generate over 3 billion tonnes of CO2 across Europe each year. With EU carbon tax rising to €50/tonne CO2 and set to increase further, deployment of carbon capture is more economically viable than ever before. CyanoCapture's mission is to provide affordable, long-term carbon capture on an industrial scale by harnessing genetically modified cyanobacteria.
The company provides point-source carbon capture to power stations, cement factories and other emission sites. Its CCS technology costs industries less to capture each tonne of CO2 than the cost which would otherwise be paid in emission tax. CyanoCapture buries its excess biomass and bioproduct deep underground in approved geological facilities - qualifying the company as true CCS.
A 750m x 600m area CyanoCapture installation is estimated to be able to capture 0.10-0.15 million tonnes of CO2 each year for the adjacent power plant, saving up to €5.2M in tax. Its biological product facilitates the unique potential for rapid scale-up which current mechanical and chemical capture technologies fail to deliver.
There are 3281 carbon-emitting power plants in operation across Europe (2020). The company's vision is to provide over half of all major European emission sites with a CyanoCapture installation by 2040 and a solution to be at the centre of the global roadmap towards achieving 'Net Zero' by 2050.
We’ve very much enjoyed our first few months at the Bioescalator. It has been helpful to have such a well-organised facility with state-of-the-art working conditions, a vibrant community and regular academic and business-oriented events.
Samir Chitnavis, Co-Founder and CSO at CyanoCapture